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Danish F-16 sucessfully tests the enhanced Paveway II

June 19, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Royal Danish air force recently conducted a series of tests of the Raytheon Enhanced Paveway II precision guided weapon.

A RDAF F-16AM during an out-of-area TLP exercise at Karup AB on March 21st, 2006.

The Enhanced Paveway II with dual-mode guidance successfully completed three-of-three operation test and evaluation drops, with one using GPS guidance only and two using GPS-to-laser terminal guidance.

"We are exceptionally pleased with the high performance demonstrated by Enhanced Paveway II in all phases of flight test and eagerly await the extraordinary operational flexibility that these new dual-mode capabilities will bring to our arsenal," said Warrant Officer M. H. Buch, Royal Danish air force program manager.

The tests by the Danish F-16 were conducted with an interim U.S. Air Force clearance. Full U.S. Air Force clearance for Enhanced Paveway II on the European Participating Air Force (EPAF) F-16 is scheduled for September 2006. EPAF F-16 aircraft are also flown by the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Portugal.

The Paveway bomb kits turn "dumb" bombs into precision guided weapons. The Enhanced Paveway II, the next generation of the successful product line, features a Global Positioning System aided Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) as well as a laser guidance system. The resulting dual-mode capability offers true operational flexibility not found in other weapons systems being produced: GPS guidance for poor weather conditions and precise laser guidance when required for mobile targets of opportunity.

Existing Paveway II laser guided bombs kits already in inventory can be upgraded with the GPS/INS package.

The Enhanced Paveway II is a proven weapon that was used successfully during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The drops in Denmark boosted the its test drop success record to 39 of 39 drops with a CEP (circular error probable) of less than 2- meters, with 100 percent reliability.

Raytheon Company received a contract to produce Enhanced Paveway II bomb guidance kits for Denmark in July 2004 after the U.S. State Department approved the purchase under a direct commercial sale.

The guidance kits will be manufactured in Tucson, Ariz. at Raytheon’s Missile Systems business with deliveries beginning in April 2005.

The deal marks the first acquisition of the Enhanced Paveway II by the Danish military. The Royal Danish Air Force currently operates both standard Paveway II and Paveway III guided bombs. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Paveway II guidance kits were produced for the 2000 lb class MK 84 and BLU-109/B, the 1000 lb MK 83 and the 500 lb MK 82 bombs. The primary manufacturer for Paveway II is Raytheon, building the MAU-169/B series of CCGs.

In the early 2000s, Lockheed Martin established itself as a second source, and currently produces the MAU-209/B CCG, which is interchangeable with the MAU-169/B.

The US Air Force very recently awarded Raytheon $33.8 million and Lockheed Martin $32.7 million under the fiscal year 2006 competition to supply Paveway II laser-guided bomb kits.